Qualifying - selected driver quotes 10 Jul 2004
Who thought what of their afternoon at Silverstone...
Kimi Raikkonen on McLarens first pole of 2004, Saubers Felipe Massa on how Olivier Paniss slowing Toyota damaged his flying lap, and Panis on the subsequent deletion of his time.
Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (1st, 1m 18.233s):
"We ran the MP4-19B for the first time during a test here at Silverstone six weeks ago and the car has continued to improve and now it has started to show its real potential. The balance has been very good throughout the weekend, and we should have a strong car for tomorrow's race. We have had a disappointing first half of this season, but the entire team has worked extremely hard to regain competitiveness. This pole position is a reward for all their efforts and late nights."
Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (2nd, 1m 18.305s):
I did run wide deliberately at Vale to get a slower time in pre-qualifying. It seemed a nicer way of doing it than just going slowly. I dont see anything wrong with what I and many other drivers did. It is the result of the qualifying format. In a situation like this you have to be selfish and think of your strategy. I think we need to make the format better. I am happy with my second place, although my car started to slide in the final sector which is where I lost pole. I think I can have a very strong race as the car is good on full tanks and the Bridgestone tyres are performing well.
Jenson Button, BAR (3rd, 1m 18.580s):
"Its good to qualify third for our home race. Obviously we would have liked to have been on pole here but third is a good position to start the race from. As is often the case, its difficult to know what strategies everyone else is running, so Im quite pleased to be where we are. The car has been handling much better than yesterday. Were not 100% happy with it after all the positive testing we have done here, but I think strategy-wise were in good shape for the race. Today has been a tough one to call weather-wise and I think it will be the case again tomorrow. My target now is a podium and playing my part in a solid team result in front of our home crowd."
Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (4th, 1m 18.710s):
It was an interesting session and for strategic reasons we chose not to look too good in pre-qualifying. However, in qualifying the conditions remained much the same and I had a good lap. Of course, being second and fourth is not the ideal situation, but we will have to wait for the race to see how things work out. We know it is a long race tomorrow and our car and Bridgestone tyres are good over a race distance. Actually we were right about the rain, but the circuit seemed to be in the wrong place!
Jarno Trulli, Renault (5th, 1m 18.715s):
"I did my best on the lap: the car was well balanced, but a lost some time in the first sector through Becketts. After that though, I managed to claw some time back in the second, and then did very well in the third sector. It was windy, but I don't think it was much different for me than the other drivers. I am pleased with fifth, and we now need to say how the strategies play out tomorrow."
Fernando Alonso, Renault (6th, 1m 18.811s):
"It was a day of two halves for me. My problem this morning was bad luck and it is disappointing, but I can't do anything about it now. In terms of qualifying, I found the wind very difficult and the car balance was changing in every corner, but I also knew that with the grid penalty, I really had to push. I didn't leave any margin for error, and took quite a lot of risks - it would have been easy to make a mistake. Tomorrow, I think I will need some unusual incident in the race or unpredictable weather to finish high up, but I will still be looking to score points."
David Coulthard, McLaren (7th, 1m 19.148s):
"It was not an easy qualifying due to the windy conditions. I lost a lot of time through Becketts and as a result I was not quick in the middle sector. We have chosen the right tyres, but as this is a high-speed circuit where you need a good result in qualifying and I'm a little disappointed with my performance. However, I will go flat out tomorrow and do my very best to score as many points a possible."
Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams (8th, 1m 19.378s):
Before starting my final qualifying lap, I saw Marc had a very nervous car and I was expecting the same. In fact, I realised immediately - at turn one - that my car was also difficult to drive and I decided to be a bit careful. With such inconsistent wind conditions, its very difficult to predict what the car is going to do. I am a bit disappointed with my qualifying position, of course, because prior to the qualifying session both Marc and I had done a good job and had a very good balanced car, but despite this afternoons conclusion, I believe weve got a very good race car and we can realistically aim for a good finish.
Takuma Sato, BAR (9th, 1m 19.688s):
"I feel that we have a good strategy for tomorrow so Im reasonably happy with my lap time. Everybody was gambling with the weather in pre-qualifying and we were hoping that it would pay off in the final run. Silverstone is a circuit where I have many memories from my Junior Formula days, so I would really like to have a strong race tomorrow. However, the changeable weather will make for an interesting race and of course we hope that we can make the best of our strategy in front of the teams home crowd."
Mark Webber, Jaguar (10th, 1m 20.004s):
I am pleased with my qualifying time today and my grid position for tomorrow's race. The car is feeling good around here and the team has done an excellent job in preparing the R5. There was a small amount of oversteer on corners 11 and 12 but generally my lap was good and error free. The wind always plays a part here and I could feel it starting to pick up between the two sessions but everyone is in the same boat so we just have to make do with what we get weather wise. We have a good strategy in place tomorrow and I am looking forward to starting the race. I like racing here and I think that we will have a good battle ahead of us.
Felipe Massa, Sauber (11th, 1m 20.202s):
"It's unbelievable! I have told Panis that I cannot understand what he was doing. He must have seen me, and even if he didn't, he had to know at the speed he was going that another car would be coming up behind him soon. The team should have been telling him. Fine, if you are going slowly to save fuel, brake on the straight and keep out of the way. He didn't do that. He was in the way, and he braked on my line. Without that I could have been ninth. I'm very disappointed because the car was very good today, and the balance was not too bad. It's really not fair."
Olivier Panis, Toyota (12th, 1m 20.335s):
"I am obviously very disappointed and upset that my time in qualifying was cancelled. I pushed very hard and did the best that I could with the car. With the strategy we have in place for tomorrow, I think we performed well. A mistake in communication from the team meant that I only saw Massa late, but I immediately moved over and offline. I am sorry for the Sauber team because it was not intentional and I did all I could not to impede his lap. I am very annoyed at the decision from the stewards. Tomorrow's race will now be very hard, but I will push all the way as I always do."
Marc Gene, Williams (13th, 1m 20.335s):
The pre-qualifying session was a bit unusual today, but what counts is the final qualifying result, but I didnt have a good lap at all. I was quite quick in this mornings practice and I was confident I could achieve a good grid position in qualifying. However, this afternoon my car was much more difficult to drive than I anticipated. I could feel it was very windy and I could barely keep the car on the track - the weather conditions had changed a lot from this morning.
Cristiano da Matta, Toyota (14th, 1m 20.545s):
"I think we should be quite content with the results of my qualifying today. The pace we had this afternoon is more or less what we have had all weekend. I had a bit more understeer and struggled more on the slower speed parts of the track, but on the other hand, the car handled better on the high speed compared to this morning's practice. The weather in Britain is very changeable and unpredictable, but I hope it stays dry for the race. If we have some luck, I think we could pick up a couple of points."
Christian Klien, Jaguar (15th, 1m 21.559s):
This morning was a good practice session for us as we worked hard on our balance and general set-up of the car ahead of qualifying. Going into qualifying this afternoon I went slow in the first session to make sure that I could go out early in the second session and avoid any potential rain. My qualifying lap was not great for me and I am slightly disappointed with my time. I really pushed too hard and when you push too hard it costs you time, I also made a couple of minor errors all of which cost me some tenths. We have been working hard on our race strategy so I will be doing what I can tomorrow to move up the grid and race for points at the team's home Grand Prix.
Giorgio Pantano, Jordan (16th, 1m 22.458s):
Im kind of pleased with my lap but I made a mistake in the second sector at Abbey and if it wasnt for that I would have been a bit quicker. I was slightly nervous about the weather before going out as I went out late and we were concerned about rain - but I was fortunate. We have done quite a lot of testing here so Im confident with the track and also with the car. Tomorrow we have a good set-up for the race, I think. It would be good for the team and the fans if we got a good result here. Last night I went to the Jordan fan village at the factory and it was fantastic to see how much support we have and I really enjoyed meeting fans. Im going back for another quick visit this evening.
Nick Heidfeld, Jordan (17th, 1m 22.677s):
Im not really satisfied with my lap: I got some graining on the tyres towards the end and therefore missed the apex on one of the corners, losing quite a bit of lap time. Our forecast said there was a high chance of rain during qualifying and I was hoping it would, as I went out early in the session. We are in good shape, definitely better than Magny Cours. We did a long run yesterday and a few weeks ago we tested and sorted out our tyres. We are better prepared and happier with the tyre choice.
Gianmaria Bruni, Minardi (18th, 1m 23.437s):
"For me, it was generally a good lap. It should have been faster, but I lost a couple of tenths in the Complex. To be honest, like everyone on the team, I wasn't feeling great after the news this morning. I hope I can get my mind clear tomorrow and do a good race for John."
Zsolt Baumgartner, Minardi (19th, 1m 24.117s):
"Today is a very sad day for all the team. I have mixed feelings about my qualifying performance. Probably, I could have achieved a better qualifying lap time this afternoon, considering the quicker runs I did this morning, but unfortunately, I made a couple of mistakes. The guys did a fantastic job today, particularly between the two sessions this afternoon, when they had to fix a problem with an anti-roll bar, which was not so easy. Now we'll aim for a good race tomorrow."
Giancarlo Fisichella, Sauber (20th, no time):
"We elected to stay in the pits because of my engine penalty, saving the tyres and the fuel. If I had a choice for tomorrow, I'd like it to rain!"